Golden State knows what Klay Thompson means to their team and didn’t want to risk ruining their relationship with the shooting guard by waiting until the offseason to make a reasonable offer, writes Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press. Gonzalez notes that before the $70MM extension was agreed to, players on the Warriors would look at GM Bob Myers, rub their fingers together and say; “Pay the man,” in reference to Thompson. “I’ve never see a team rally around a player so much to get him paid,” Myers said. “It says a lot about Klay and what he means to this franchise.” With the league’s television contract set to expire and the new deal expected to increase the salary cap, the Warriors are expecting Thompson’s performance to exceed the value of this deal.
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- Even though negotiations went to the deadline, Myers said giving Thompson a contract extension was an easy decision, according to Diamond Leung of The San Jose Mercury-News. Thompson received a four-year max deal that makes him the first Golden State player signed through the 2018/19 season. “This contract is well deserved, and I think that’s the best compliment I can give Klay,” Myers said, giving a nod to Thompson’s work ethic. “He earned it.”
- Wolves owner Glen Taylor’s relationships with Ricky Rubio made the decision to open up his checkbook easier, writes Andy Greder of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “[Taylor’s] a great guy who really stepped up in this situation,” Rubio said. “Me and him talking, just man to man, clears things up.” When Rubio’s extension kicks in, he will be the team’s highest paid player, earning about $14MM per year.
- Alec Burks had no intention of leaving Utah and is excited to be part of the Jazz’s bright future, writes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. “I had him tell the Jazz I wanted to be here. I want to be a part of the future,” Burks said of his discussions with agent Andy Miller. “I see something bright in the future.” Utah and Burks signed an extension worth $42MM over four years, with “reachable” incentives that could bring the value of the deal to $45MM.
Arthur Hill contributed to this post